BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — Little Ethan Stacy would have lived had he received proper medical attention, a University of Utah burn specialist said Friday during the preliminary hearing for Nathanael Sloop, accused of murder in the 4-year-old’s death.
Dr. Jeffrey Saffle, former director of the Intermountain Burn Center, testified that Ethan had second- and third-degree burns over approximately 17-and-a-half percent of his body, which contributed to the boy’s death in 2010.
Saffle was the final witness called during the four-day preliminary hearing. Oral arguments will be heard in the case on June 20, after lawyers from both sides submit written briefs to 2nd District Court Judge Glen Dawson.
Sloop’s attorney’s will challenge their client’s being been charged under Shelby’s Law. That law, enacted in 2007, was named after 10-year-old Shelby Andrews, who died in 2006 in Syracuse following abuse by her parents. The law tightened penalties for killing a child and allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty without having to prove a killing was intentional.
At the time of Shelby’s death, her father and step-mother couldn’t be charged with capital murder because there was no such law. Both Ryan and Angela Andrews pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder and were sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.